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Being Compliance Ready

Kath Bowler - Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Welcome to our new blog series for Limited Licence holders.  Each issue, we'll focus on a particular issue that accountants are grappling with in an attempt to make licensing work.

The focus for this blog is dreaded compliance.  I’m sure the mere mention of the word has already put several of you to sleep. However, having now helped many accountants implement the compliance requirements for Limited Licensing, I’ve realised that the majority of the requirements are just good business.


What you need to know
As annoying as compliance can be, in the end most of it is about good business practices.  In my experience, those practices that have had strong systems and processes in place found the process much easier. For those that could perhaps make some improvements in this area, you may find the process beneficial across your business as a whole.

Having said that, there’s no denying that there is some initial work involved in putting your initial documentation, systems and processes in place.  As far as what you need to know is concerned, here are my key points:
  • The Responsible Manager doesn’t have to be the ‘doer’.  There is definitely a monitoring and supervisory role that is necessary (more on that next time), but you should consider using more junior staff, or engaging compliance experts to get the job done more efficiently.
  • If you are a member of CA ANZ or CPA Australia, you can access a range of free templates for compliance, including a compliance manual and risk register.  These are fantastic resources and will go a long way to addressing your initial requirements.
  • Compliance is part and parcel of the culture of a business, and is something that filters from the top down.  So for all the partners and business owners reading this, this is definitely a case of leading by example.

What you need to do
The table below breaks down they key compliance obligations into initial or one-off requirements, annual requirements and those that need to be maintained on an ongoing basis.  You’ll see that once the initial set up of manuals and registers is done, the compliance functions becomes a whole lot easier.

INITIALLY
ANNUALLY
ONGOING
  • Establish compliance folders and registers
  • Customise your compliance manual and risk registers
  • Develop some standard advice policies
  • Complete any necessary employment, or Authorised Representative agreements
  • Initial vetting of advice
  • Review manuals and registers
  • Complete training plans
  • Monitor and supervise the advice that is provided
  • Maintain adequate resources, including financial resources
  • Prepare documents for compliance committees
  • Update registers


L4A's Top Tip
The ‘doer’ doesn’t have to be the Responsible Manager.

For Limited Licence holders, the Responsible Mangers are typically partners in the accounting firm.  If that is the case for you, you shouldn’t be performing administrative tasks.  Your role is to ensure adequate compliance, not to implement it personally.



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